AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 That’s in addition to 518 acres that have already been slated for public open space. Percell had been denied permission to build on the 89 acres, south of the 210 Freeway, but he’d pushed for the public to buy the land, rather than having to donate it. “They’re giving us this land for free,” Greuel said after meeting. “I don’t know of another project that has donated 85 percent of the property as open space.” In addition, Percell agreed to Greuel’s request to remove nine houses that were particularly visible from the freeway. However, opponents said Percell was still getting more homes than he should. With giant maps and signs illustrating the formulas used to calculate housing density on hillsides, opponents argued Percell should only be allowed to build 45 homes on his 887 acres. Even though Canyon Hills was trimmed from 280 to 230 and now 221 houses since the beginning of the year, that’s still far too many houses for area, said Dean Wallraff, conservation chairman for the Verdugo Hills Group of the Sierra Club. “This is mansionization. These are 4,000-square-foot, expensive houses in a gated community. It’s not like anything in the area, which is rural.” Supporters of the project said Canyon Hills offers a rare compromise that would secure acres of open space and provide a new equestrian center for free, in exchange for a moderate number of homes. Kerry Cavanaugh, (818) 713-3746 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! A Los Angeles City Council panel on Monday OK’d a housing project in the Verdugo Hills after the developer agreed to trim the project to 221 homes and dedicate 89 additional acres to public open space. The proposed Canyon Hills development still needs full City Council approval in the coming weeks, but the Planning and Land Use Committee’s decision marked a key victory for developer Rick Percell, who wants to build on one of largest swaths of private open space remaining in the northeast San Fernando Valley. The project encompasses 887 acres straddling the 210 Freeway in Sunland – larger than New York’s Central Park. The proposal would cluster homes on the eastern edge of the property near an existing neighborhood, with the rest of the land untouched. Councilwoman Wendy Greuel, who opposed earlier versions of the development, said Monday she could finally support the project after Percell agreed to dedicate 89 acres of environmentally sensitive habitat as protected open space.